Tigers Draw With Hull KR
Posted: Sunday 17th June 2018 - 5:44 PM
Castleford Tigers and Hull Kingston Rovers shared the spoils on Sunday afternoon, drawing 24-24 at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle in a drama-filled encounter.
Four tries from Jy Hitchcox made a Tigers victory look likely for much of the game, but a late Robins revival rescued a point for the visitors.
Buoyed by their most recent performance at Warrington, the Tigers set off with full steam in the early going. In fact, their very first set of six yielded points as, just like at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, Mike McMeeken opened the scoring – benefitting from a smart short ball from Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e close to the line.
Hull KR had a torrid few moments just after, as they kicked the ball dead from the restart and failed to do anything meaningful when they did get the ball in hand. Punishment was inevitable.
An initial break from Laulu-Togaga’e opened things up for Castleford, before Jake Trueman took the reins, taking on a couple of scrambling defenders and putting in a perfect kick to the corner. Hitchcox scooped up the loose ball and dived over in the corner to record the second try of the contest.
A fair amount of time passed before the next score, but the black and amber always looked the most likely to strike so it was just a matter of when. As the moment eventually came, it was Hitchcox who came up with it, grabbing his second of the afternoon from another excellent Trueman kick.
It looked for all the world that Castleford would push on in the latter stages of the first half, but the Tigers were somewhat disappointing before the break, as they allowed the Robins to claw their way back into the game. After a couple of repeat sets at the Wheldon Road End, Junior Vaivai went in for Hull KR’s first try of the afternoon, and that turned out to be the last meaningful play of the first half.
Things became very interesting just as the sides re-entered the field of play, as Hull KR scored what must have been one of the quickest second half tries of all time, directly from their own kick-off. Adam Quinlan somehow came up with possession, before he dived under the up-rights.
The Tigers hit back though soon after, as Hitchcox did exceptionally well to record his hat-trick on the left edge. The try left yet another tricky conversion attempt for Calum Turner though, so the hosts could only extend their lead so far.
With things relatively tight, the Tigers and Robins engulfed themselves in a real scrap in the second half, with most of the ball going right up the middle.
Therefore, it surprised no one in the ground when Castleford elected for the sticks when the opportunity next arose, extending their lead to eight points.
Some silky stuff from the Tigers allowed Hitchcox to walk in for his fourth try with just under 15 minutes remaining, but the Robins weren’t dead yet.
Playing with nothing to lose, the visitors streaked up the field, eventually finding the towering Mose Masoe who was near unstoppable that close to the whitewash.
From there, it was all hands on deck for the Tigers but, with the Robins in full swing, a fourth try for the East Yorkshire side always looked likely. Vaivai came up with it as he dropped on a lovely kick to the in-goal, and Ryan Shaw remained immaculate with the boot, levelling the scores with just four minutes remaining.
Drama was at an all-time high in the final moments, as both sides took turns to attempt a crucial one-pointer. However it wasn’t to be, so the teams shared the spoils at the end of the 80 minutes.
Full Time: Castleford Tigers 24-24 Hull Kingston Rovers
Turner, Minikin, Foster, Shenton, Hitchcox, Laulu-Togaga’e, Trueman, Massey, Milner, Cook, McMeeken, Wardle, Sene-Lefao
Webster, Moors, McShane, Holmes
Tries: McMeeken, Hitchcox (4)
Conversions: Turner (1/4), McShane (0/1)
Penalty: Turner (1/1)
Hull Kingston Rovers
Quinlan, Shaw, Blair, Vaivai, Wallis, Marsh, Atkin, Scruton, Smith, Tickle, Tomkins, Greenwood, Clarkson
Masoe, Jewitt, Lunt, Donaldson
Tries: Vaivai (2), Quinlan, Masoe
Conversions: Shaw (4/4)
CBR Engineering Man of the Match: Jy Hitchcox
Golden Gamble: 05662
*Match Report by Ross Williams
*Photography by Melanie Allatt